New management team Simon Houghton and Craig Wilkinson got off to an encouraging start as Glasshoughton Welfare drew 3-3 at home to promotion contenders Yorkshire Amateur on Saturday.
It needed an injury-time goal from Nathan Keightley to earn Welfare a valuable point in the first game under their new managers, but they were fully deserving of the draw after giving a committed display.
Initially it appeared that Houghton and Wilkinson were set for all three points as hosts Welfare made a fantastic start and led 2-0 at half-time, but after Amateur showed their promotion credentials with a stunning second half fight back it was time for Glasshoughton to show resolve as they kept going right to the final whistle.
Both sides finished with 10 men as Ammers’ Jasiah Donaldson and Glasshoughton’s Ash Scothern were sent off in separate actions.
Welfare fielded three of their new signings, Gaz Hunter, Connor Rollinson and Michael Brearley, and were terrific in the opening half.
The visitors came under pressure from the off and Welfare went ahead on 20 minutes as Jimmy Williams came in at the far post to head the ball past keeper Chris Barrow.
Twelve minutes later it was two after another header when Alex Romaniw met Blaine Kellett’s cross.
It could have been more early in the second half as Scothern raced through only to be denied by Barrow, but three goals in five minutes for Amateur turned the game on its head.
First Harrison Blakey was left with a simple tap-in to give the visitors a lifeline on 53 minutes then two minutes later Donaldson volleyed past home keeper Jordan Watson from the edge of the area and the game was level.
It was to quickly get even worse for Welfare as Tom Rose was allowed to get past several defenders before beating Watson from inside the box.
Amateur were reduced to 10 men when Donaldson was red carded for a lunge on Brearley having earlier been booked.
But Welfare were not to have the extra man advantage for long as referee Daniel Bennett then showed a red card to Scothern after he too was guilty of two bookable offences in the eyes of the official.
After looking good in attack earlier in the contest, the home team were now struggling to test their opponents’ defence. But they always looked dangerous when they could get crosses into the box and were finally rewarded from one in the seventh minute of added time.
Youngster Keightley, who had come on as a late substitute, proved the hero as he was able to bundle the ball into the net after getting on the end of a dangerous ball in that had left keeper Barrow stranded.
It was all encouraging for Glasshoughton with the new management team pleased to have earned a point from their first game in charge.
Welfare still remain down in 16th place, just three points ahead of second from bottom Winterton Rangers, but they will travel with renewed hope this Saturday when they are away to Hallam in another NCE Division One match (kick-off 3pm).
Their hosts are having a decent season in seventh place and already have a win over ‘Houghton this season, having won 4-2 at Leeds Road back in September so it will be a big test for the new look Welfare outfit.